The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is asking hunters for help in a statewide initiative to gather more biological data on the state’s deer population. Hunters who get a deer during the November 16 – December 1 rifle season are asked to provide an incisor tooth from their deer when they go to a reporting station.
Biologists are collecting middle incisor teeth from all rifle season deer in order to evaluate regional differences in ages and antler characteristics of bucks as well as to help estimate population size, growth rate, health, and mortality rates. Each tooth will be cross-sectioned to accurately determine the deer’s age, and the results will be posted on the Fish and Wildlife website next spring.
Hunters are asked to obtain a tooth envelope from the reporting agent. Write your name, Conservation ID number and date of kill on it. Remove one of the middle incisor teeth, being careful to include the root. Place the tooth in the envelope and give it to the reporting agent.
Instructions on removing the tooth will be posted at reporting stations, and a video showing how will be available on Fish & Wildlife’s website www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
“Knowing the ages of harvested deer is critically important, and more information allows us to make better management decisions,” said Nick Fortin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s deer project leader. “To produce accurate population estimates, and to better assess our current management strategies, we really need to get teeth from as many deer as possible.”